Jack Parsons meets Chief Peoples Officer of Dunelm, Amanda Cox for a cuppa

Women empowerment. Who and what comes to mind when you hear women empowerment?

Today, Jack Parsons had the great pleasure of sitting down with the incredible Amanda Cox, Chief Peoples Officer of Dunelm. A fun, honest and down to earth individual, who doesn’t follow the crowd and makes a stand in her own beautiful way!

Amanda expressed that she comes from a family of entrepreneurs, as her grandfather was a famous marketer in London and worked alongside the founder of Tesco. Her grandfather then went into the rag trade.

Amanda’s father then went into the trade, following in her grandfather’s footsteps, where she worked since she was child, helping out her family business. This is when she realised she wanted to be in the retail business!

It’s truly inspiring how a small family business can influence a young child to want to grow up and work in retail. That is the power of retail…

We see that nowadays more and more young people are choosing to go into retail as their first job or part-time jobs when they are still in education, but when asked, many of them don't see themselves working there in the long run.

Most of the time, it being due to the stigma associated with working in retail and a thought that there's no room for progression, however Amanda is a prime example of how someone can start at the beginning and end up as a leader in a well renowned company, such as Dunelm.

Amanda is an incredible person, who has always had to work really hard to get the things she wanted, and never had the privilege of being handed things for free.

Amanda went on to describe her experiences at school and told Jack how she wasn’t always the cleverest or the obvious candidate for many things and always had to fight really hard. She expressed that this experience has made very resilient and given her the drive to fight for things that she wants to achieve.

Jack then went on to ask about Amanda’s progression to her leadership role and the incredibly challenging backstory Amanda travelled through to get where she is today.

Amanda told Jack of an incident which occurred while she was doing her graduate scheme program, where she was pulled into a room and told “you were not gonna make it”. She expressed how most of that was due to the way she looked and the way she presented herself; very down to earth and very honest.

I would like to think that we have come a long way since inappropriate and discriminative comments towards working women were made, however we are yet to eradicate this within society.

It is important to advocate that no matter what you look like, what socio economic background you are from, what language you speak or your gender does not define you or categorise you!

You can achieve whatever you put your mind to!

This is the main message from Jack and Amanda’s catch up over a cuppa brought as a conclusion…

Yet again it is important to express, reinstate and emphasise… we are all equal, we are all one, we are all human.

Let’s always keep that in mind.


Global hearts, local minds

Enabling young people to thrive in today’s world.